Tyre manufacturer Continental already has some fairly intelligent motor vehicle shoes, fitted with their Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which does what it says on the box – keeps track of the pressure in your tyres. But the TPMS is going to be undergoing an evolution that should become available around 2017, when Continental’s car-shoes will be getting smarter.
What the manufacturer has in mind is to embed sensors into tyres that will, in addition to measuring air pressure, will keep drivers informed of the state of their tread. Tread depth has a major effect on a car’s performance on the road and the last thing that drivers want is to find out that they’ve let their tyres wear right about the time that they’re aquaplaning across the highway in a heavy rainstorm.
The way that the sensors will work is that they will detect changes in the way that the tyre rolls over its lifetime, while software will be analysing these changes and detecting tread depth based on the tyre’s performance. When the performance on the road gets to a point where the tread depth is unsafe, a notification will be sent telling you to replace the problem rubber.
The new feature, which will be called the electronic Tire Information System or eTIS, doesn’t have an exact launch date since it is still in development but smarter tyres are coming.